MAES Leadership and Staff

MAES provides resources for researchers and faculty. Functional areas include research facilities, administration, accounting, and communications.

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BRIAN BUHR, Director

[email protected] | 612-624-1234

As the Director of MAES, Brian Buhr is responsible for representing MAES at the state, regional, and national level. He oversees strategic planning for the unit and helps coordinate MAES initiatives with those of CFANS.


JOLEEN HADRICH, Deputy Director

[email protected] | 612-626-5620

As the Deputy Director of MAES, Joleen oversees the daily management of the MAES administrative office and helps to coordinate with department heads across the colleges on MAES funded projects.



As the Chief Financial Officer of MAES, Ted Butler provides oversight of MAES financial operations and reporting.


RUTH SANBORN, Administrative Associate 2 

[email protected] | 612-625-5795 

Ruth Sanborn works with a variety of matters related to MAES research projects, assisting researchers and staff with technical, process, and policy-related questions regarding new project proposals and progress and final reports. This involves the use of REEport, USDA/NIFA's online system for submitting project initiation forms and reports for formula projects and NIFA grants. Other issues Ruth works with include Minnesota's participation in multistate committees and projects and some internal MAES RFP processes.

Contact Ruth in regard to:

  • MAES projects
  • REEport
  • Multistate committees and projects

Finance and Accounting

VALERIE LINHOFF, Finance Manager 

[email protected] | 763-607-3592 

Valerie Linhoff is the MAES and ROCs finance manager. She is responsible for monitoring AES and ROC: financial budgeting and reporting, oversight of Federal capacity funds and state research projects, supervision of MAES and ROC accounting staff, reporting website access, and an information source regarding AES and ROC financial data including RECAP, CRIS, ISO billing, and AES financial database.

Contact Valerie in regard to:

  • Financial budgeting and reporting
  • Federal capacity funds and state research projects
  • Financial reporting website data questions and/or access issues 
  • AES and federal year end closing
  • MAES reporting site assistance


TAMMY BERGAN, Finance Professional 2

[email protected] | 612-625-9716 

Tammy Bergan is a finance professional for MAES. She is responsible for providing financial support to MAES in all areas.

Contact Tammy in regard to:

  • Payroll
  • RARF/SGI/varietal development allocations
  • Federal funds
  • Loan pool


LISA CHAMBERLAIN, Executive Accounts Specialist

[email protected] | 612-624-7779 

Lisa Chamberlain is the executive accounts specialist for MAES. She is responsible for processing payments to vendors, travel and employee reimbursements, PCard reconciliation, journal corrections, new chartfield setups, and deposits.

Contact Lisa in regard to:

  • External billing 
  • Ag services and utility charges
  • New supplier setup
  • Deposits


ANDREW ESPINOZA, Executive Accounts Specialist 

[email protected]

Andrew Espinoza is the executive accounts specialist for MAES. He is responsible for processing plot fees for ROCs, PCard processing for ISOs, ISO billings and accounts payable vouchers for ISOs and MAES.

Contact Andrew in regard to:

  • Plot fees for ROCs
  • PCard processing for ISOs
  • ISO billings
  • Accounts payable vouchers for ISOs and MAES




[email protected] | 612-625-1228 | 612-803-8007 (c)

Andrew Scobbie works for the MAES Ag. Services Department as campus operations manager in St. Paul. Andy is responsible for the research plot land and related facilities on the St. Paul campus.

Contact Andrew in regard to:

  • Requesting research plot space
  • Plot history
  • Plot tillage and preparation
  • Herbicide and fertilizer application
  • Animal waste management
  • Vehicle and equipment maintenance


PAM WARNKE, Manager 

[email protected] | 612-625-3153

Pam Warnke is the manager of the MAES Plant Growth Facilities. She is in charge of the daily operations and management of the Plant Growth Facilities on the St. Paul campus.    

Contact Pam in regard to:

  • Greenhouse space and billing
  • Pest management
  • Fertilization and watering


DOUG BRINKMAN, Research Professional 3 

[email protected] | 612-384-2478 (c)

Doug Brinkman manages and oversees the Growth Chambers located on the St. Paul Campus. He is employed by the MAES, but works for university personnel who are using growth chambers for research, plant propagation or seed production. He manages and maintains growth chambers for users but also hopes to be a resource for users who would like to discuss controlled environments and artificial light sources as they relate to plant growth and development. There is much to learn so Doug also hopes to have meaningful conversations with users that will improve my understanding of their needs in order to find positive methods to meet those needs.

Contact Doug in regard to:

  • Using growth chambers for controlled environment research
  • Discussing the capabilities of the chambers and what chambers would be best suited for the type of plant research they intend to pursue
  • Concerns regarding light quality and quantity, including UV or the Shade Avoidance Response (SAR, SAS), as well as how to measure photo-synthetically active radiation (PAR) and take spectra of their lamps for publishing purposes
  • Using the model plant arabidopsis thaliana for research
  • Discussions regarding new lighting and chamber technology 


JASON LEONARD, Research Professional 3

[email protected] | 612-624-5395 | 612-408-6794 (c)

Jason provides support to PI’s and staff scientists with advice and assistance in the field.  He is the contact person for issues/concerns regarding the Crop Service building and its resources.  Jason also serves as the point person for the Dept of Agronomy and Plant Genetics field equipment. 

Contact Jason in regard to:

  • Equipment needs in the field.
  • Space and processing equipment needs in Crop Services building. 
  • Research plot irrigation needs 
  • Alternative contact for manager


TIM LOESCH, Communications Director 

[email protected] | 612-860-6022 (c)

Tim Loesch is the communications director for MAES and CFANS. He helps provide oversite and collaboration on MAES communications projects. 


EMILY A EVANS, MAES Communications Specialist

[email protected] | 507-752-5063

Emily Evans is the MAES Communications Specialist. She is responsible for science storytelling, promotion and reporting for the MAES and its partner colleges. Emily maintains the MAES websites and intranet, responds to media requests, and communicates MAES researchers' accomplishments to a wider audience. Emily works out of the Southwest Research & Outreach Center near Lamberton.

Contact Emily in regard to:

  • Website & intranet content

  • MAES feature and research impact story ideas

  • USDA-NIFA federal reporting and Plan of Work

  • New plant or crop releases


JEFF THOMPSON, Digital Content Lead 

[email protected] | 612-626-4925

Jeff Thompson is the digital content lead for MAES and CFANS. He focuses on strategy, consultation, design, execution, and approach for visual content creation for MAES. His primary responsibilities include video storytelling and photography for MAES. 

Contact Jeff in regard to:

  • Video and photo consultations and requests
  • MAES video and photo permissions and third-party usage